Politicians of all shades throw political stunts at times, some of them barely resembling the truth. At best they are a shadow of actuality but Mr Shearer’s latest one where he shows us an empty stadium, meant to represent those leaving for Australia this year is one that is close to the truth. I am referring to Mr Shearer’s claim re ‘New Zealand being a finishing school for new Australians.
For many years New Zealand has granted residency to thousands of immigrants, many with skills we need, only to see them depart for Australia after a minimum period of time. This is not good enough. Their kids benefit from a virtually free education and the adults have relatively free access to Australia.
This raises the question about whom and how we bring in new New Zealand residents. Perhaps it is time for a major overhaul of our immigration policy. At the same time we should revisit the policies around keeping skilled young people in New Zealand, with a system of bonding, much like we had years ago for teachers.
By suggesting the above, I am not saying that people, be they immigrants or newly qualified young people, should be barred from leaving if they can’t find employment. That issue would need to be carefully thought through; looking for the hooks and obvious holes that people are good at finding.
If Mr Key takes umbrage at David Shearer’s comments, then he should go back and look at some of the ones he made as a new Leader of the Opposition.